The Big Five of Chumbe – A Citizen Science project goes online
We have recently developed a new online survey for capturing observational data related to our resident and visiting marine megafauna (which are turtles, reef sharks, stingrays, large groupers and dolphins) that is designed so that also visitors can actively participate in our marine conservation efforts now!
At Chumbe Island, we care a lot about our coral reef and do everything to protect it. And of course, caring about the coral reef also includes monitoring it. Because only when we monitor the condition of our reef can we understand which measures are needed to ensure it will stay as healthy and resilient as it is now.
For more than 15 years, Head Ranger Omari Nyange has been leading our in-house coral reef monitoring, by surveying 20 permanent transects, to assess a range of reef health factors, including corals, fish and invertebrates. Through his tireless efforts, considerable data is available that is yearly analyzed and interpreted together with scientific findings from visiting researchers. However, we think science should be open to everybody! If more people were getting to know and monitoring their environment, we believe that the global community could make faster progress in protecting it – and it’s fun, too!!
Our approach is simple: whenever you are in Chumbe and you spot sharks, turtles, dolphins and other occasional megafauna within and adjacent to the protected coral reef sanctuary, you can now enter your sighting into our new online survey using this link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScw0F0N3DVq92AmADJBuedfhGx1Mdv0zltRNrkQf1LAdAl3DA/viewform
We have specifically built the survey to be quick and easy, so it does not take more than 5 minutes to fill it in, plus information can be provided on different levels: either you can give us feedback if you have seen either one or several of the above mentioned animals, or if you are among our enthusiastic nature lovers, you can try to identify commonly seen species with the simplified ID help and images that we have included in the survey.
With this new initiative we aim at a more systematic capture of observation data related to our resident and visiting megafauna and hope that this will find many enthusiastic citizen scientists that are keen to participate!!
Check out the link to the survey and we look forward to your sightings and feedback!
Asante sana from Chumbe and the Big Five!
PS: if you have seen or photographed one of our Big Five at Chumbe in the past, please drop us an email with as many details of your sighting as you remember (date, time, species, location).